Better restoration policies are needed to conserve mangrove ecosystems

Current mangrove planting schemes aimed at reversing global losses are prioritising short-term increases in area over long-term establishment. Without sound, evidence-based restoration policies, this approach could accelerate the demise of mangrove forests and the ecosystem services they provide.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Planting problems.


  1. 1.

    FAO. The World’ s Mangroves: 1980–2005 89 (FAO, Rome, Italy, 2007).

  2. 2.

    Duke, N. C. et al. Science 317, 41–42 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Richards, D. R. & Friess, D. A. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 344–349 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Primavera, J. H. et al. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 109, 744–750 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Villamayor, B. M. R. et al. Ocean Coast. Manage. 132, 1–14 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Primavera, J.H. et al. in World Seas, An Environmental Evaluation 2nd edn, Vol. 3 (ed Sheppard, C. S.) 1–34 (Elsevier, 2018).

  7. 7.

    Lewis III, R. R. Ecol. Eng. 24, 403–418 (2005).

  8. 8.

    Lee, S. Y. & Khim, J. S. Chemosphere 168, 765–776 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Peng, Y. et al. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 109, 691–699 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    He, Z. et al. Plant Soil 432, 425–436 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Ewel, K. C. et al. Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 7, 83–94 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Barbier, E. B. et al. Science 319, 321–323 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Lewis III, R. R. et al. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 109, 764–771 (2016).

  14. 14.

    Barbier, E. B. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science: Environmental Economics 23 (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017).

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shing Yip Lee.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lee, S.Y., Hamilton, S., Barbier, E.B. et al. Better restoration policies are needed to conserve mangrove ecosystems. Nat Ecol Evol 3, 870–872 (2019).

Download citation

Further reading


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing